Montana State University
MSU STRATEGIC INVESTMENT PROPOSAL FOR INSTITUTIONAL PRIORITIES
PROPOSAL OVERVIEW
TitleReplacement of Chemistry Freshman lab computers Request Date2012-11-30
DepartmentChemistry and Biochemistry Emailpete@chemistry.montana.edu
RequestorPete Masse Phone406 994-5379
INSTITUTIONAL BENEFIT
Campuses Bozeman Billings Havre Great Falls FSTS Extension MAES
Cross Depts Engineering, Nursing, Chemistry, Physics, Cell Biology, Plant Sciences, Land Resources, Nutrition, Education (Teaching option), Agriculture, Earth Sciences, Ecology, Microbiology, Immunology
TIMEFRAME
Proposed Dates Start: Summer 2013 End:  
PROPOSAL SUMMARY
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at MSU Bozeman proposes the replacement of 60 lab computers, keyboards, mice and monitors, including two spare computers in the Gaines Hall Freshman Chemistry Labs. Each semester students use these computers to conduct chemistry lab experiments. They are over seven years old and are failing.
STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT
(Learning)
In the age of digital information, the availability of reliable computing power laboratory has become essential in “preparing students not only to solve today’s problems but also to rise to tomorrow’s emerging challenges.”
(Discovery)
Maintaining MSU’s standing in the “top tier of research institutions” requires the “appropriate infrastructure, and training” of our students. In the Chemistry and Biochemistry lab, modern reliable computers are a key part of the infrastructure which provides a “state-of-the-art laboratory for MSU’s growing community of scholars and artists.”(Metric D.2.1)
COST AND REQUIREMENTS
Funding Type: One-Time Only Funding Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding
  FY13 FY14 FY15 Base ($) OTO Startup ($)   FTE;
Salaries              
Benefits              
Materials & Supplies              
Travel              
Contracted Services              
Capital       44950.00       
Other Operations              
TOTAL 44950     
Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.

Costs are based on pricing from the ITC store which includes a computer tower, monitor, keyboard and mouse and necessary software.  Two spare computers provide quick recovery from computer failure in the beginning or middle of lab.  Two spares per 30 computers is considered best practice.  The replacement of all 60 computers at one time is critical in allowing us to “re-image” each computer without complications due to hardware differences.

PROPOSAL SCOPE
Describe the Proposal

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at MSU Bozeman operates an undergraduate genreral chemistry labs in Gaines Hall.  Undergraduate students use computers in the lab to conduct chemistry experiments and collect data. They are 7+ years old, out of warranty and beginning to experience hardware failures  (power supply and mother boards for example) at an increasing rate.  To keep these labs functional, enjoyable to students and to equip students with cutting edge equipment, we propose updating the current computer systems to the latest technology.  We also propose putting these systems on a three to four year life cycle.   Again, the replacement of all 60 computers at one time is critical as it allow us to “re-image” each computer without complications due to hardware differences.

 
Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

Depending on the academic discipline, many freshman students from MSU Bozeman are required to take chemistry as part of their CORE and or department requirements.  The functionality of these labs affect the quality of education for students across the MSU Bozeman campus including students from Engineering, Nursing, Chemistry, Physics, Cell Biology, Plant Sciences, Land Resources, Nutrition, Education (Teaching option), Agriculture, Earth Sciences, Ecology, Microbiology and Immunology.  In the 2011 - 2012 acedemic year, 2500+ students from various diciplines used these computers.

 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Implementation Plan

If this proposal is approved in 2013, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will remove all the old chemistry lab computers and install the new computers in time for the Fall 2013 semester.  These computers will need to be ordered by May of 2013 to allow for installation and configuration during this timeline.  The existing computers will be given to property management for redistribution.  The same pattern will be used for new and existing computers every three to four years, or as replacement computers are made available.

 
Assessment Plan

These computers have been replaced twice in the past 10 years.  The success of this is indicated by comments from students who say they were able to use the software without difficulty or loss of data.  However, that experience has taken a turn in the last three years as lab computers are experiencing more software crashes causing data and time loss during lab causing frustration for students.

 
If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?

The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at MSU Bozeman will continue to maintain these computers by replacing them as they fail.  We will also continue to request funding to replace these computers.  Please take into consideration the cost of time, hardware and software to the Department of Chemistry at MSU Bozeman to keep these labs running which benefit students from many other disciplines on campus.

 
SIGNATURES
Department Head: Mary Cloninger (mcloninger@chemistry.montana.edu)
Dean/Director: Paula Lutz (plutz@montana.edu)
Executive/VP: Martha Potvin (mpotvin@montana.edu)